When banks couldn't, Starbucks could; national media feature Gelato Fiasco financing story | Business

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When banks couldn't, Starbucks could; national media feature Gelato Fiasco financing story

PORTLAND, Maine -- The Gelato Fiasco was served a giant dish of national press coverage yesterday as word spread of the company's unusual method of financing its new Portland store. The company was featured by CNN Money and Bloomberg News.

Last year, founders Joshua Davis, 29, and Bruno Tropeano, 28, sought financing from traditional banks for the new store that they planned for Portland's Old Port. The company already operated a successful store on Maine Street in downtown Brunswick and sold its pints at more than 140 other grocery stores and restaurants in New England. Even with that history, local banks couldn't make the loan. So Davis and Tropeano sought assistance from Coastal Enterprises, a nonprofit community development lender.

Coastal Enterprises offered The Gelato Fiasco a loan funded in part by the Create Jobs for USA program. That program was the brainchild of Starbucks Founder Howard Schultz; frustrated by the pace of government efforts, he sought to quickly jump-start the economy by supporting the distribution of low-interest loans to promising businesses that would create new jobs and impact their communities.

The terms of the loan require that The Gelato Fiasco create jobs and offer development programs to its employees. Alec Haviland, 21, of Portland, is one such employee. The manager of The Gelato Fiasco's new Portland store, Haviland is receiving management training as part the stipulations of the loan.

Six new jobs have been created and filled at the company as a result of the Portland store, and four more new jobs are projected to be filled in the coming months.

Like is sister store in Brunswick, The Gelato Fiasco Old Port is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, year-round. It offers indoor and outdoor seating; 30 flavors of gelato daily from a recipe count of more than 1,000 flavors; board games; and full coffee and espresso service.

The store opened in late January.

Davis completed a Skype interview for CNN Money from the Portland store, and was also interviewed for a separate article by CNN Money. Bloomberg News also published an article featuring interviews with Schultz and Davis. Please see the related articles (links below) for further information, or contact us to set up an interview with Josh Davis.




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